What Is Indiegogo And How Does It Work?

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LollyKat/Shutterstock Mole/Shutterstock Indiegogo/Facebook Remix by Caterina Cox

Crowdfunding has revolutionized the way projects and dreams become a reality. With just a few clicks, anyone can set up a campaign on a variety of different platforms. Each has its own way of connecting creators and backers. But if you’re looking for flexible funding, Indiegogo deserves your attention.

What Is Indiegogo?

Indiegogo is a versatile crowdfunding platform intended for a variety of different types of projects, products, and fundraisers. 

The basics of Indiegogo are the same as any other crowd funding site. Creators pitch the project they are trying to fund: a tabletop news show, original board game, etc. Individuals can then pledge money in exchange for predetermined rewards. On Indiegogo these rewards are called perks.

Indiegogo helps creators fund projects directly with their audience rather than finding more traditional investors. It also helps creators avoid fronting the money for a project themselves. What sets Indiegogo apart is how it pays out.

A project on Indiegogo does not need to meet its full project goal for the creator to receive funding. This can prove vital for getting started on a new project, even if you need more funding later.

Who Can Use Indiegogo?

Indiegogo has simple requirements for hosting a campaign.

All you need is a qualifying project, to be at least 18-years-old, and have a supported bank account. You can find the countries Indiegogo banks with right here. Qualifying project types on Indiegogo fall under a large scope. 

However, the company breaks them down into three categories.

  • Tech & Innovation (Products)
  • Creative Works (Art/Film/Media)
  • Community Projects (Business/Culture)

Each of these categories has a wide variety of subcategories to choose from.

Lots of innovative products also get their start on Indiegogo. In 2015 a beehive called the Flow Hive 2 broke records by raising over $13 million on the platform.

You can find anything from wearable tech to card games to innovative water bottles among Indiegogo’s past and present campaigns. If you can dream it up and have a plan, Indiegogo can help make it a reality. Provided of course, it as it falls within the platform’s guidelines.

Can Indiegogo Be Used For Fundraising?

Indiegogo can be used for both for-profit and non-profit fundraising. You’ll find people raising money to start bakeries, fund educational initiatives, and more among the Community Projects listings.

What Is Not Allowed On Indiegogo?

Indiegogo has some limitations on what is allowed for campaigns and perks. Read the Community Guidelines on prohibited perks before launching your campaign. 

Be aware of what isn’t allowed as a perk but can be part of your final project.

For instance, you can’t market alcohol on a campaign or offer it as a perk. However, you can use Indiegogo to raise money to open a bar and offer vouchers for in-store pick-up.

Similarly, you can’t market drugs or drug paraphernalia as part of your campaign. You can’t offer a raffle, lottery, weapons, ammunition, or related accessories. Most importantly, you cannot offer any financial incentive or profit sharing as perks.

Here’s a quick list of prohibited perks and campaigns on Indiegogo

  • Drugs or Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Investments
  • Sexually Explicit Content
  • Graphic Violence
  • Human or Animal Remains
  • Weapons or Accessories
  • Air Travel
  • Political Campaigns or PACs (Political Action Committees)
  • Health Supplements or Medication
  • Resold Goods

How Do You Create An Indiegogo Campaign?

Once you’ve decided on a campaign theme, it’s time to get started. You can start working on your campaign immediately, with no approval process necessary. 

Set up an account using your email. Indiegogo does let you sign in using Facebook, but we do not recommend it. Don’t risk getting locked out of your campaign because your social account is hacked.

Next, click on Start a Campaign.

The website will walk you through setting up your campaign with basic information. You’ll need to explain the project’s goal and introduce your team. Then, add any media you want to include, such as concept designs or teaser videos.

You can save a draft of your campaign at any point and come back to work on it later. Don’t worry. Your campaign will be viewable only to you until you hit the “Review & Launch” button.

Now, let’s dive into some of the specifics.

Pre-launch Pages

One of Indiegogo’s best features is the ability to create a Pre-Launch Page for your campaign. This allows you to promote your campaign and get people invested before you’re ready to go live. 

A Pre-Launch Page offers a taste of your project so you can start promoting it on social media immediately. Interested parties can sign up to be notified when your campaign goes live. This keeps them in the loop while ensuring they’re the first to know about any Early Bird perks.

You aren’t required to create a Pre-Launch Page to use Indiegogo. However, it’s worth considering if you think it will create buzz and excitement around your project ahead of time.

A Pre-Launch Page can be created by going to the draft page for your campaign and selecting the “pre-launch” tab in the sidebar.

Types Of Funding

When setting up your campaign, you’ll need to know what type of funding you want to pursue. Indiegogo offers two options: fixed or flexible.

Fixed Funding

Fixed funding is what you find on most crowdfunding platforms set up for a specific project (like Kickstarter).

With Fixed Funding, your backers will only be charged if you raise the full amount you seek. This is ideal if you’re raising money for a project you cannot complete without full funding.

Flexible Funding

Flexible funding means you will receive all the money pledged by backers even if you don’t hit your full goal.

This option can benefit creators who can scale their projects in scope. The drawback of flexible funding is that you’re still responsible for any perks offered.

Make sure you have a plan in place for completing everything, even if you don’t hit your funding goal.

Setting Goals and Deadlines

The minimum amount you can set as your fundraising goal on Indiegogo is $500. Beyond that, it’s up to you to determine how much money you need to raise for your project.

Once you have a number, you can decide whether fixed or flexible funding will better serve your campaign.

Campaigns can run for a maximum of 60 days. However, they can be as short as you like. Indiegogo recommends keeping your campaign under 40 days. You can also start extending the duration of your campaign as many times as you’d like until you reach that 60 day maximum. However, you can’t shorten a campaign once it has gone live.

Things To Consider When Setting Your Indiegogo Goals


Indiegogo charges a fixed fee of 5% on all the money you raise and receive. There is also a fee of around 3% + $0.20 for each individual transaction. The exact amount varies based on location.


If you raise over $1000, Indiegogo will hold 5% of that back for at least six months. This hold is in case you face chargebacks. Indiegogo explains the fine print of this rule here


It takes around 15 business days to receive your funds after the end of your campaign. You should factor this into your production schedule and perk delivery expectations.


Indiegogo claims that raising 30% of your target in the first two days is the best signal that your campaign will be a success. Consider how this information can impact your campaign plans. You might consider not setting your goal too high, even if you opt for flexible funding. 

Choosing Rewards And Tiers

Indiegogo is all about the perks! Offering unique and desirable rewards at different financial tiers encourages people to back your project in the first place. They can sometimes even convince backers to offer support at a higher level than they might have otherwise.

When considering what perks to offer backers, consider your project and your intended audience. Some things will likely immediately become obvious, like offering a digital download if you’re funding a film.

Crafting rewards that enhance your campaign and backers’ investment can set your project apart. Rewards can also help create a demand by offering something backers won’t be able to get anywhere else.

Indigogo even lets you limit how many of a certain perk can be claimed. You can even include discounted rates for Early Bird perks. This allows for true exclusives and creates a sense of urgency for those still contemplating their support.

As always, time management is crucial with crowdfunding. If you’re offering perks that require manufacturing or specific individual time (like Skype sessions), budget accordingly.

Factor in labor and material costs when considering how much to price each reward. Shipping costs can be added to sales based on the user’s location.

And don’t forget to consider setting lower tiers for people who want to support your campaign without a full pledge. Pledges of $5-10 can add up in the end!

Stretch Goals

It’s common for campaigns to set stretch goals beyond their official target. Stretch goals let you promise extra features or perks to backers if you pass a certain funding level.

Your stretch goals can include a higher quality final product, hiring big collaborators, or extra features. Just make sure you budget enough to meet the promises you make.

How Will You Promote Your Campaign?

Some people may stumble upon your campaign while browsing the Indiegogo website. However, it’s better to have a plan in place for promoting it among your own network and seeking potential backers outside of your usual contacts.

We already discussed setting up a Pre-Launch Page to create early hype for your campaign. You can also use any existing mailing list you may already have.

Think about friends, family, and acquaintances who have supported of previous projects. Reach out to people who have signed up for your website. Most importantly, make sure you promote to your social media following.

Clue potential supporters into what you’re doing, why it matters, and what they can do to help. Help doesn’t always have to be financial. Friends and fans simply spreading the word is a form of backing your project.

Anything you can do that directs people to your page is probably a good idea. 

Some campaigns reveal new information and announce exciting collaborators once they hit certain goals. Others release new information as the campaign goes on. This gives them something fresh to say on social media when re-sharing the link.

You can also add new perks or stretch goals along the way. Or offer updates via the official platform to continue incentivizing backers to return and check out how things are going.

Some campaigns may even find success in contacting the media about covering your campaign. If you take this route, try to find niche outlets that target your project’s audience.

Receiving Your Funds

You’ll need to provide bank account information and ID verification when you initially set up your account. You cannot receive funds without following these steps. If your campaign hits its goal, your money, minus fees and temporary holds, will be disbursed within 15 business.

What Is Indiegogo’s InDemand?

Any campaign that hits its goal is eligible for another type of campaign Indiegogo offers called InDemand. InDemand allows you to continue raising funds for your project indefinitely with a catch. To be eligible your perks must be fulfilled within three months of the date you originally estimated in your campaign.

This can be a great option for campaigns that are essentially serving as product pre-orders. It’s also great if you’re raising money for an ongoing project in different stages.

You can opt out of InDemand under Settings on your campaign dashboard. If your project hasn’t received any additional funding within six months, Indiegogo will close it automatically.

What Is The Difference Between Indiegogo And Kickstarter?

Indiegogo and Kickstarter are two of the biggest names in crowdfunding, particularly when it comes to specific projects. Both are well-established and trusted at this point. There’s a great deal of overlap in what they do, but there are important differences.

The most notable difference between the two platforms is that Indiegogo allows flexible funding for projects. Kickstarter on the other hand requires you to set a specific goal. If you don’t meet that goal, you don’t receive your funding.

Both platforms charge roughly the same amount in fees for those campaigns that are funded to completion.

Kickstarter also has a team that reviews and approves campaigns before they launch. Indiegogo generally allows you to hit simply hit button and go live. However, if you’re creating a product, Indiegogo requires you to detail where you are in develpment before approval. 

The last major difference is that Indiegogo allows fundraising for community projects, nonprofits, and other similar causes. Kickstarter meanwhile requires your campaign to be about creating a final, tangible product.

Which crowdfunding platform is right for me?

Before you launch a campaign, make sure you do your research. Look at Kickstarter and see if it is a better fit for your needs.

If you’re want support from your network on more of an ongoing basis, check out platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi. They may be a better fit for ongoing projects.

Most importantly, before launching, do your research. Remember to browse other campaigns like yours, no matter which website you choose. The more you learn and brainstorm before launching a campagin, the better your odds of success!

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